Slide to Unlock, Then Rock with the ‘Guitar Apprentice’ iPad Accessory

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Shown off at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Ion Audio’s Guitar Apprentice iPad accessory has already been a fixture on every local, regional and national broadcast news outlet’s segment, the formula being that the anchors and reporters banter back and forth, half-condescendingly portraying the biggest tech show of the year as little more than a nerdy flea market chock full of silly toys with iPad docks.

But I digress. The Guitar Apprentice will be available in July for $99, and is basically a Guitar Hero controller with a cutout for your iPad where the strum bar would normally live. Once the iPad’s docked, the free Guitar Apprentice app serves up six virtual strings for strumming.

(MORE: Check out Techland’s coverage from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show)

Looks fun, right kids? I know! Make sure to tell your parents that the Guitar Apprentice app includes built-in guitar lessons so they’ll see it as an educational purchase. If they decide to press you on it, mention that the frets on the fretboard light up during lessons to teach you basic chord progressions. If your dad comments that it’s not a real fretboard, just buttons, and that it’s not the same as playing a real guitar like he did in college, remind him that just because he owned a guitar in college and told girls that he’d be spending each summer “just kinda working on my music,” doesn’t mean he actually knows how to play. Unless he’s secretly in a band comprised of fellow podiatrists that secretly rehearse after work and play secret gigs, of course.

When you find you’ve reached the all-elusive “next level” of guitar mastery, you can rely on the Guitar Apprentice’s core MIDI compliance and GarageBand compatibility to really lay down some killer tracks. In other words, expect this thing to become an on-stage fixture during several bands’ tours this summer – some serious, some ironic.

Check out the above video for a quick demo of the Guitar Apprentice.

(MORE: 6 Slightly Ridiculous Celebrity-Endorsed Headphones from CES 2012)